Active Movement

Active Movement

23 November 2016

We often assume that active movement for preschool children takes place outdoors.  However, there are opportunities for children to be physically active indoors too.  In the inclement Spring weather, here are some great play ideas that involve children being physically active to encourage the skills of hand-eye co-ordination, control over large muscle groups, and spatial awareness.

Safety first – ensure there is a large clear space suitable for children to jump, roll, climb, and hop.  Remove any hard surfaces such as coffee or side tables.  Ensure the floor space is clear of other toys that children may fall or trip over.

  • Place couch cushions on the floor to make a jumping path in the living room.
  • In homes with one or two steps, position a plank on a step and invite children to crawl and walk along it.
  • Lay out blankets for the infants to practice rolling over or crawling.
  • Use carpet squares to encourage children to run, jump, dance or stretch on the spot.
  • Use foam balls, beach balls, and bean bags for active indoor play.  Children can toss these objects to each other or into baskets or at targets.
  • Scarves and streamers can be used to wave to rhythmic music.
  • Play the game “Musical Chairs”.
  • Use mats or cushions for tumbling, hopping, and dancing.
  • Use a fly swat to bat balloons either on your own or with a partner.
  • Create an obstacle course using sturdy furniture that can be crawled under or over.
  • Put on children’s action music and dance.
  • Play “Simon Says” and have children stand on one leg, jump up and down, turn around in a circle, etc.
  • Have two people hold the ends of a skipping rope along the floor, and wave it side-to-side to create a wave/snake effect.  Children can jump over this, creating a game.

Other opportunities for physical activity indoors can be included in daily routines, such as when putting away toys, washing the snack table and sweeping under the table.